In life, we often refer to difficult situations as simply, “stress”. There are different types of stress though, and it is not always a bad thing. There’s Eustress which is positive stress and there’s distress which is negative stress. Distress (or negative stress), is your body’s mental and physical reaction to negative change. It is usually long term, and can have adverse effects on the human body including high blood pressure, anxiety, and other mental health conditions. There are many things to do when you’re in distress, and most are very simple. First, lets explore some common stressors.
Negative Stressors can include:
Death of a loved one
World Issues (e.g. covid-19)
Illness or Injuries
To you or anyone else experiencing distress (especially during this global pandemic), here are five simple things to do when you’re in distress.
THINGS TO DO WHEN YOU’RE IN DISTRESS
GO AHEAD, CRY IT OUT
First things first: let’s ditch the notion that crying makes you a weakling. It doesn’t. We’ve been crying since our departures from the womb so by now, I’d say its pretty normal to “bring on the waterworks” don’t you think?
Having a good cry has several benefits. Research has found that in addition to being self-soothing, shedding emotional tears releases oxytocin and endorphins aka the happy duo of hormones. Crying in response to stress may also release stressful chemicals such as cortisol, making us feel calmer afterward.
So go ahead, take part in some psychogenic lachrymations! (thats science talk for crying) … It seems being a “crybaby” isn’t so bad after all.
TALK IT OUT IN YOUR JOURNAL
Journal writing is so cheap it only requires a pen and notebook.
As cost effective as it is, surprisingly everyone isn’t doing it (but that’s another story and people are allowed their preferences ok?). Whether you use journal prompts or choose to brain dump, journal writing can provide for you a healthy outlet. When you write about your related thoughts and feelings in full detail, you are more likely to explore the source of your distress.
Sex. Coitus, gettin’ it on, doin’ the do, the nasty, knockin’ da boots, f***ing.
Sex feels great am I right? Well, you have to do it with the right person or else you’ll be bored to tears and dissatisfied. But back to the original topic- overall sex feels great am I right?
As with crying, healthy sexual activity also produces oxytocin and endorphins, as well as other hormones that boost your mood and act as a form of temporary pain relief. Sex is also considered exercise, and with exercise you can prevent increases in your blood pressure; when your blood pressure is stable, you are also stable.
CURL UP WITH A GOOD BOOK
Reading for pleasure can be an amazing option for dealing with negative stressors. When you open a book, you catapult yourself into a land of literary goodness, which provides a great escape. This only helps if you read something you enjoy be it a book, magazine, or even a brochure.
Reading may also relax your body and lower your heart rate + blood pressure. According to a 2009 study at the University of Sussex, (di)stress is reduced up to 68% just by reading.
In times of distress you may notice changes in your body, some of the clearest indicators being an elevated heart rate and faster breathing. When you practice deep breathing, you slow things down which brings your body to a calm and relaxed state.